Janesville resident William Beil says he’s ending his run for Janesville City Council to prevent a 1998 arrest he chalks up to a personal “mistake” from upstaging “important” issues the city faces.

Beil announced his decision after a Feb. 10 Gazette report that revealed Beil was arrested in Clark County in 1998 for disorderly conduct tied to a domestic violence incident.

Beil was charged in July 1998 in Abbotsford with recklessly causing bodily harm to a child and disorderly conduct, according to a criminal complaint.

In a letter to the editor printed in The Gazette today, Beil wrote he thinks the episode that led to the arrest would have no bearing on how he would perform as a council member.

But Beil wrote he decided to pull out of the council race to ensure “the attention remains on the important (Janesville) issues and not on me or on selling newspapers.”

Beil said he sought a seat on the council to give “much-needed” representation to areas he believes have been long “underserved” by the council, including economic and social issues the city’s south side faces.

“My only hope is that the council starts taking the south side of Janesville and our issues more seriously,” Beil wrote.